Saturday 22 April 2017

Arjan Janssen / Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti
Bust of a man (Lotar II)
57 x 38 x 25 cm

Dark tones, introspection, rejection
When I think of Giacometti, I also think of Jean Genet. One of my first great discoveries during my student days. The years in which I was formed, when I came into contact with new worlds, in which I got to know myself through those worlds. A time I remember wistfully, a time I'm still related to in my work today. Of course there were many other new experiences, and I gained many new insights. But it hasn't been as intense as then.
Artists like Genet and Giacommetti voiced exactly the dark life feeling I had. The longing for the selvedge, the need to rebel, the refusal to conform. It felt like a safe haven where I could hide. From where I could look at the surrounding world with a frown. Like the figures of Giacommetti: being there and not being there. Show and hide at the same time. Surrounded by a quiet, solitary space.
The sculptures of Giacometti chant the tormented man. They give him the opportunity to withdraw into himself. Without having to account for it. They are generous to the misfits among us. Like Our Lady of the Flowers by Genet, or the dark tones of Joy Division.

Arjan Janssen, 2017

Arjan Janssen (NL)
Zonder titel
chalk and graphite on paper
76 x 56 cm

Saturday 8 April 2017

Theo Kuijpers / Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Bush Yam Dreaming
synthetic polymer, paint on canvas
138 x 263,5 cm

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Earth’s Creation
synthetic polymer, paint on canvas

Emily Kame Kngwarreye at work

Whenever Emily was asked to explain her paintings, regardless of whether the images were a shimmering veil of dots, a field of ‘dump dump’ dots, raw stripes seared across the surface or elegant black lines, her answer was always the same:
Whole lot, that’s whole lot, Awelye (my Dreaming), Arlatyeye (pencil yam), Arkerrthe (mountain devil lizard), Ntange (grass seed), Tingu (Dreamtime pup), Ankerre (emu), Intekwe (favourite food of emus, a small plant), Atnwerle (green bean), and Kame (yam seed). That’s what I paint, whole lot.
In the last eight to nine years of her life Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910-1996) produced over 3000 paintings, an average of about one painting per day. Before that she did batik, but washing out batikwax became too heavy, so she just started painting.
She now belongs to the absolute top of contemporary Australian art.

(source: National Museum of Australia)

'It is the scrub, its informality, bush tracks, stumps, fences, the litter of bark and leaves and its transformation by flood and fire, that had attracted Theo Kuijpers to the Australian landscape. It's not unusual for an Australian artist to respond to such elements in landscape, but  it is rare for an artist from Holland. The Australian environment is certainly very different to that in and around Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where Theo Kuijpers lives all his life and where he has a studio. Nevertheless, as the son of a farmer, it is landscape and farming detritus that often strikes the deepest chord in him.
Characteristic of this art is the landscape-like materiality, the incorporation off all manner of discarded materials in past of paint-denim trousers, embroidered tablecloths, twigs, rope or string. Tarpaulins and old sails are also favourite materials.'

(from a small catalogue by Hendrik Kolenberg, former curator of Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, accompanying an exhibition in Kingstreet Gallery on William, Sydney)

Theo Kuijpers
Song after Bushfire   
80 x 100 cm   
oil, collage on canvas
(photo Peter Cox)

Theo Kuijpers (NL)
Night Song
200 x 160 cm
acrylic, oil, collage on canvas
(photo Peter Cox)